fil·​i·​a·​tion | \ ˌfi-lē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce filiation (audio) \

Definition of filiation

1a : filial relationship especially of a son to his father
b : the adjudication of paternity
2a : descent or derivation especially from a culture or language
b : the act or process of determining such relationship

Examples of filiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Krug’s academic research is focussed on unhomed peoples whose identities are not reducible to state or tribal filiation—indigenous peoples turned Africans turned slaves turned fugitives who forged a new sense of themselves out of thin air. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 12 Sep. 2020 Part of what the book achieves is a lucid rendering of the complex web of filiations and affiliations that connected not only these three central figures but also others in their orbit and in their disparate, often far-flung worlds. Neel Mukherjee, WSJ, 23 Aug. 2018 But his response to Le Pen’s comment about his childlessness was something more earnest and full-throated, an impassioned rejection of the decrepit social order that limits filiation to a man and his seed. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, 5 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'filiation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of filiation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of filiation was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near filiation

filial piety



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Cite this Entry

“Filiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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fil·​i·​a·​tion | \ ˌfi-lē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce filiation (audio) \

Legal Definition of filiation

1 : a legal relationship of a parent and especially a father and child that creates rights and obligations used to help prove filiation in a paternity suitLeBlanc v. LeBlanc, 427 So.2d 1361 (1986) — see also legitimate filiation — compare acknowledgment, paternity

Note: The Louisiana Supreme Court has held that children not entitled to legitimate filiation to the alleged parent, or not legitimated or formally acknowledged by the alleged parent, may establish filiation in a filiation proceeding. This has led to some instances where the legitimate children of one father have been allowed to prove filiation to another father. Such an action does not make the children illegitimate but does create a status of dual paternity.

2 : adjudication of paternity or filiation the court has made an order of filiationIdaho Code

History and Etymology for filiation

Late Latin filiatio relationship of a son and father, from Latin filius son

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